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Variety drives tribe’s work

Developer of the Year, Forest County Potawatomi Community (Staff photo by Kevin Harnack)

Developer of the Year, Forest County Potawatomi Community – (From left) Kip Ritchie, COO of Potawatomi Business Development Corp.; Matt Cool, president of Greenfire Management Service LLC; Gus Frank, chairman of Forest Count Potawatomi Community; and Mike Goodrich, general manager of Potawatomi Bingo Casino (Staff photo by Kevin Harnack)

The Forest County Potawatomi Community’s development portfolio is as varied as it is large.

From a bio digester to an 18-story hotel, the organization’s projects in the past couple of years total more than $200 million.

Jeff Crawford, attorney general for the Forest County Potawatomi, said the assorted Milwaukee projects have the same goal: bettering the community.

“Our people live in this community,” he said, “and we believe in doing what we can to improve it whether it’s by offering a specific service or improving economic development.”

FCPC’s Milwaukee development boom began more than two years ago when it announced plans to redevelop the Concordia Trust Property Campus on Milwaukee’s west side. Now called the Forest County Potawatomi’s Wgema Campus, Crawford said the redevelopment fits well with the tribe’s goals and needs. Several FCPC wholly-owned subsidiaries — including Greenfire Management Services, its construction management firm — call the site home.

Nearby, the FCPC also built Data Holdings, a $30 million, 46,000-square-foot data center; the first of its kind in the Milwaukee area.

And the tribe’s $18 million biogas digester adjacent to Potawatomi Bingo Casino is part of the FCPC’s mission to be more environmentally conscious.

“This goes back to our commitment to sustainability,” said Crawford, adding the project benefits more than just the tribe since it collects food waste from area restaurants and turns it into electricity that is sold to We Energies.

Added to the mix is a $150 million hotel the FCPC is building adjacent to its Potawatomi Bingo Casino in the Menomonee Valley. Construction on the 18-story hotel began in July 2012 and the 381-room facility is slated to open next summer.

The FCPC has played a huge role in transforming the Menomonee Valley from vacant lots to bustling businesses, said Laura Bray, executive director of the Menomonee Valley Partners, a nonprofit organization committed to redeveloping that corner of the city.

“The Forest County Potawatomi have led the way in the Valley’s resurgence,” Bray said. “The hotel project will further its growth and success and add to the valley’s diverse mix of entertainment and industrial businesses.”

One comment

  1. So much is given back to the community & Team members while striving to do best by Mother nature. I gota say, hats off to the leaders and team for doing all you can!

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